“They practically ski for you at Beaver Creek,” wrote a friend of ours when I told him where I was for the weekend. Well, not quite, but close!
Guilty as charged. I’m a pampered skier. I don’t like long walks with skis slung over my shoulder, good food and wine are as important as great terrain, and a bed is never just a bed — where we stay is part of the joy of a family ski trip. These are just a few of the reasons that people have been telling me for years to go to Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado.
I finally made it to this gated ski resort 2.5 hours outside of Denver this year and experienced their luxury set up first hand. No ifs, ands, or buts about it, I’m in love!
It’s all about the details and this is Beaver Creek’s mantra. Their differentiator is in the time this resort has taken to ensure that every part of the experience is truly exceptional; from accommodations, to meals on and off the slopes, to the ski lesson program, to après ski for Mom, Dad, and kids.
Ski-in/ski-out accommodations make all the difference in the world. Walking out your door and putting skis on is one less step in the process to get on the mountain, and one less lost glove that has to be repurchased. Beaver Creek has a wonderful array of ski-in/ski-out options for families including hotels, condos, and homes. The luxury options are pricey, but the quality makes it worth the expense.
The Park Hyatt Beaver Creek is already part of the CB! Hotel Collection. On this trip we stayed at The Osprey, operated by Vail Resorts/Rock Resorts, and the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch; both are phenomenal and offer something unique to families. I’ll do full reviews of each hotel in the next few weeks.
For now, think Ski Valet/Concierge — someone who puts your skis out in the morning and takes them off your hands right on the slopes. The Ski Concierge at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch even took off my ski boots. Talk about pampered bliss!
With 1,832 skiable acres, there’s plenty of mountain to cover for all ages and abilities. Beaver Creek has incredible learn-to-ski facilities served by a dedicated gondola, the Buckaroo Express, so kids have an optimal place to get comfortable and confident on the snow.
The beauty at Beaver Creek is that there is plenty of other terrain too, so all levels have access to great skiing, and families can return to the resort again each year and still have new challenges. 39% of the terrain is rated expert/advanced, 52% is rated intermediate, and 19% is rated beginner.
The Beaver Creek Ski/Snowboard School refers to itself as the Ivy League of Ski Schools. That’s a tall order, but I now agree with the description. We spent the day with a private guide and were totally blown away. Our guide had 20+ years of ski instruction behind her and ensured that three totally different skiers had a wonderful time, while managing to dispense excellent tips along the way.
Our motley crew includes: a Mom who has let fear get the best of her (on and off the lifts), an ex-ski racer Dad with bad knees who likes to pretend like it’s the good old race days, and an 11-year-old boy who thinks moguls and ice are fun. Our instructor had us all smiling throughout the day — it was by far our best ski day all season.
What made our instructor so great? It’s back to that detail-oriented approach. Her vast experience and insight enabled our instructor to expertly guide us around the mountain, while meeting everyone’s individual needs.
Gone are the days when a mediocre yet expensive ski lunch is acceptable. Beaver Creek has invested in their dining outlets on the slopes. We had the chance to try the new Talons Restaurant with plenty of indoor/outdoor seating and many different fresh food options, from lamb burgers to creative salads, to usual suspects like pizza. The cafeteria-style set up ensures lunch can be fast without giving up quality.
The luxury hotels in and around Beaver Creek all have restaurants, the village has a number of options, and there are excellent signature mountain experiences. We took a sleigh ride to Beano’s Cabin for a five-course gourmet meal by a roaring fire with live music. It had all the makings of a special evening beyond the usual night out, with our without kids. Beano’s is available for lunch too.
Beaver Creek has an appealing village with high end shopping, dining, and an ice rink. Every Saturday from 4-5:30 during Ski Season, the village hosts Family FunFest with games and face painting. It’s a great way to give kids a little après ski celebration of their own.
Beaver Creek’s daily Cookie Time at 3p in front of the Centennial Lift is indicative of why families love the Beaver Creek experience. Hot, fresh cookies are passed around to anyone and everyone who wants one. What’s not to like? I’m dreaming about a 2015 return visit.
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Editorial Note: Beaver Creek provided a media package for our time at the resort. As always, our opinions are our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Amie O’Shaughnessy
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